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poetry

[poh-i-tree]
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noun
  1. the art of rhythmical composition, written or spoken, for exciting pleasure by beautiful, imaginative, or elevated thoughts.
  2. literary work in metrical form; verse.
  3. prose with poetic qualities.
  4. poetic qualities however manifested: the poetry of simple acts and things.
  5. poetic spirit or feeling: The pianist played the prelude with poetry.
  6. something suggestive of or likened to poetry: the pure poetry of a beautiful view on a clear day.
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Origin of poetry

1350–1400; Middle English poetrie < Medieval Latin poētria poetic art, derivative of poēta poet, but formation is unclear; probably not < Greek poiḗtria poetess
Related formspo·et·ry·less, adjective

Synonyms for poetry

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2. Poetry, verse agree in referring to the work of a poet. The difference between poetry and verse is usually the difference between substance and form. Poetry is lofty thought or impassioned feeling expressed in imaginative words: Elizabethan poetry. Verse is any expression in words which simply conforms to accepted metrical rules and structure: the differences between prose and verse.

Antonyms for poetry

2. prose.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for poetry

verse, paean, song, rhyme, poesy, stanza, rime, rune, versification, doggerel, balladry, rhyming

Examples from the Web for poetry

Contemporary Examples of poetry

Historical Examples of poetry


British Dictionary definitions for poetry

poetry

noun
  1. literature in metrical form; verse
  2. the art or craft of writing verse
  3. poetic qualities, spirit, or feeling in anything
  4. anything resembling poetry in rhythm, beauty, etc
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Word Origin for poetry

C14: from Medieval Latin poētria, from Latin poēta poet
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for poetry

n.

late 14c., "poetry; a poem; ancient literature; poetical works, fables, or tales," from Old French poetrie (13c.), and perhaps directly from Medieval Latin poetria (c.650), from Latin poeta (see poet). In classical Latin, poetria meant "poetess."

... I decided not to tell lies in verse. Not to feign any emotion that I did not feel; not to pretend to believe in optimism or pessimism, or unreversible progress; not to say anything because it was popular, or generally accepted, or fashionable in intellectual circles, unless I myself believed it; and not to believe easily. [Robinson Jeffers (1887-1962), forward to "Selected Poems"]

Figurative use from 1660s. Old English had metergeweorc "verse," metercræft "art of versification." Modern English lacks a true verb form in this group of words, though poeticize (1804), poetize (1580s, from French poétiser), and poetrize (c.1600) have been tried. Poetry in motion (1826) perhaps is from poetry of motion (1813) "dance" (also poetry of the foot, 1660s).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper